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Harley Benton R-457BK Fanfret

48

7-String Electric Guitar

  • Body: Lime
  • Bolted neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Neck profile: Speed-D
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • 24 Fanned medium jumbo frets
  • Offset Dot fretboard inlays
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Dual Action truss rod
  • Nut width: 48 mm
  • Pickups: 2 Passive Hi-Gain humbuckers
  • 1 Volume control and 1 tone control
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • Nut: Nubone
  • Black hardware
  • Deluxe diecast machine heads
  • Strings (ex works): .009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042, .054
  • Colour: Black High Gloss
Colour Black
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 24
Scale 686 mm
Pickup System HH
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
available since November 2017
Item number 410817
Number of Strings 7
Style ST
Color Black
Fretbboard Blackwood
Long Scale 686 mm
Short Scale 648 mm
Pickups HH
Vibrato No
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$169
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4 Sales Rank
Z
Great basis for an upgrade
ZoltanP 20.01.2020
This is a great option for those who want to venture into the territory of extended range: 7 multiscale strings are not easy and not cheap to come by, so this price point is simply killer, and gives everyone the opportunity to try something special for less than a fortune.

That being said, you also get what you pay for, more so than on most other Harley Bentons I've bought over the years.

Out of the box, the setup was alright given the guitar's stock features, but there was a lot of room for improvement:

- The nubone nut was a bit loosely set and fell off, so I had to reattach it with superglue;

- The nut's slots deserved to be filed down a full millimeter on every string, its top trimmed down by 2-3mm, its corners rounded and sanded (otherwise they protruded too much and got in the way of playing on the first fret);

- about a third of the frets were high, so I gave them a complete levelling, dressing and polishing:

- the stock humbuckers were okay but very dark and muddy, so I replaced them with Fishman Fluence pickups and electronics (that kit alone cost almost twice as much as the guitar, but Fishman pickups sound amazing, so totally worth every penny);

- The stock tuners were decent but 1:19 ratio locking tuners (also from Harley Benton) are much better for stability for these heavy strings;

- The string ferrules on the back of the body all fell out when I destrung the guitar: their holes are a tiny bit too big in diameter, but a blob of Loctite on the side of each ferrule solved that issue;

- When properly intonated, the springs of three out of seven bridge saddles got so loose that they rattled. You either need to put longer springs in there, or add pads of some sort to compress the springs and cut out the parasite noises (I used small strips cut out of a leather strap);

- Finally the blackwood fretboard is acceptable, but be careful with lemon oil: it soaks it up quickly and spits it back for days. My biggest grievance though is this: why on earth is there no second marker at the 12th fret? Especially as there are three of them at the 24th!

Note also that the stock pickups were base-mounted and their routs are too narrow for any top-mounted alternative, including my Fishman humbuckers. So I had to get the Dremel out, rout the cavities wider (thank God it's a basswood body!), drill deeper into the body to get enough clearance for the top-mounting screws, and craft and attach home made pickup rings for top-mounting, as the guitar has no pickguard.

A nice touch is that the back control cavity was covered in shielding paint ex factory. Another positive is that the maple neck is really sturdy, stable, well shaped and smooth (I nevertheless wet sanded the back of it with some 600 grit paper for even better feel). And the overall guitar remains relatively light for something this big, and exactly balanced. No neck dive whatsoever.

Once all of the above was done (roughly 3 days of work), I could do a proper setup, adjust the trussrod, lower the action, perfect the intonation, and... ENJOY WHAT IS NOW A REAL HEAVY METAL MONSTER \m/ THAT'S ALSO VERY EASY TO PLAY, EXTREMELY VERSATILE SOUNDING, AND DEAD ACCURATE FROM FRET 1 TO 24. The last bit of buzz that remains is just because I missed a high spot on fret 13. It will soon be fixed.

Agreed, if you add the extra parts I used and the manhours I spent, this project is in the end not any less expensive than some of the entry level and even mid range alternatives from Ibanez, Jackson or Schecter, but I still love it, and have greatly enjoyed the upgrade process. Plus now my guitar is truly unique.
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OM
Wanted 7 string Fanfret
Ole Man 16.12.2020
Wanted to try out a 7 string fanfret to see how I’d like it. Do to COVID I’m unable to hang out like I used to. So spending time at the local guitar shop was non-existent. Also buying an outrageously priced guitar to try and return just didn’t seem right. So I’d heard good things about Harley Benton Guitars and I thought I’d give them a try. I thought for the low cost that I’d get the Harley Benton R-457BK Fanfret to try. Glad I did! Was thinking that if I didn’t enjoy the guitar or that the 7 string multiscale wasn’t for me I’d give the guitar to my grandson (or The Son-In-Law). To bad, they’ll have to wait, as the comfort, setup, and quality was well beyond what I was expecting. I’m enjoying the playability and tone. Playing through Boss Katana 100 and after a little tweaking the amp settings, this guitar sings like an American Fender HH. Cleans are clean, crunch is focused, and driven has headroom galore. Chugging is new to me and finding Dgent is coming along! Since I’m 65 and can still get a heartbeat, I need to add it to the 7th string! DGENT!
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u
very good guitar
ummmm 14.09.2021
This guitar is surprisingly high quality for its price. The guitar was a little out of tune when it came and was set up very nicely. The build quality is really nice. The guitar feels solid. All of the frets rounded and polished. The tuners feel cheap but still feel better than my budget jacksons tuners. The knobs and selector feel good. The pickups are pretty weak through gain but a surprisingly nice clean tone. The issues I have with the guitar were expected as it is a cheap guitar. But everything else about this guitar was way better than I expected. I would say get this guitar if you want a multiscale on a budget or want to try a multiscale or if you want to mod. This guitar is an amazing mod platform. Manage your expectations before buying it.
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T
Great Budget Multi-scale 7-String
Tim_Miller 11.10.2021
Highly simplistic, no-frills, multi-scale 7-string guitar. Very playable and smooth for its price range. Hardware is lacking a bit in quality but still standard at this price point. Factory pickups are a bit muddy but one can still pull some good metal or "djent", if you will, tones out of them. I have no idea what strings are on it in the factory but prospective buyers should consider swapping right away to their favorite strings. Previous HB guitars from this series had major issues with buzzing and popping coming from the electronics. I don't have ANY of this with my R-457BK and from what I understand HB put some effort into QC and it's no longer an issue with their instruments. All around a good, solid guitar. Perfect for someone who wants to try out a multi-scale 7 under $300.
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